Four strategies for a healthier summer

Lee Holmes shares why she believes fasting a great tactic for summer health and weight loss.

I believe we should focus on our health all year round. It should encompass your overall wellbeing - mind, body and soul - and should be treated in a balanced way with a big-picture view. 

However, I'm aware most of us often push ourselves a little harder to get leaner in summer! If you’re looking for some simple ways to become a happier, healthier version of yourself, here are some of my favourite strategies. Just promise me, you’ll follow them for you and not just for your ultimate ‘summer body’!

Drink more smoothies

I find making my own smoothies a lot cheaper and tastier. You don’t need the most expensive equipment either, just a simple one speed blender will do the trick.

I like to include lots of green leafy vegetables like kale an rocket for extra nutrients. I also love including berries because they’re high in antioxidants, low in sugar and they taste delicious. They also help sharpen the brain and boost energy. Adding avocado helps make your smoothie creamy, and provides a healthy source of fat to help with the absorption the vitamins and nutrients. 

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is another great way to help shed a few kilos in an easy and maintainable way. Let me tell you now, intermittent fasting is not a fad diet. It’s a healthful approach that can be fitted in very easily to your lifestyle. I practice intermittent fasting twice a week.

Intermittent fasting involves restricting calories on two days of the week. For women, I recommend 500 calories and men, I suggest 600 calories.

Another popular approach to intermittent fasting is 16:8, which is where you fast for 16 hours and eat within the other 8 hours of the day. For example, you may choose to finish dinner at 6pm and then eat your next meal at 10am the next day.

Some of the benefits of intermittent fasting include helping balance hormones, reducing bodily inflammation and reducing blood pressure. Intermittent fasting also helps you feel a little lighter, which always feels good after all the overindulging we tend to do in the holiday period.

Make salads fun

Salads don’t need to be a boring side or a chunk of lettuce. 

When it comes to building a salad, I like to start off with a green base, like mixed leaves, spinach, kale or rocket. I then add the crunch factor with essential nutrients like beans, cauliflower, carrot, celery, cucumber, radish, sprouts or onion. Next, add a good quality protein such as eggs, chickpeas, fish or meat of choice. Drop in some good fats like avocado, flaxseed oil, olive oil or tahini. Sprinkle on some nuts or seeds.

Green it up further by adding flavoursome herbs such as mint, basil, coriander (cilantro) or parsley. Toss and enjoy!

Hydrate

One of the best and easiest ways to get a summer glow is to increase your water intake. Water helps get things moving on the inside, and can keep skin moist, helping to reduce sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles.

Try to have between 2-4 litres of water a day for maximum benefits. I recommend taking your water bottle with you everywhere and take slow sips throughout the day. 

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